The winner of the Spirit of the Equinox Award for 2014 is Bob Vitale. Following is the presentation by Tracey Martinson.
This year’s recipient has been in Fairbanks for a long, long, long time. Forty years, in fact! This person started running about 30 years ago, on a cold and wintery day when the temperature hovered at 30-below zero. [Who takes up running in the middle of a Fairbanks winter?!]
At any rate, this person’s domestic partner was pretty sure it was going to be a fluke–a one-time deal and then the silliness would be over. But the person came back, all frosted-up and icicle-laden, with a smirk that you could see growing in size as warmth returned to the body. This person was certifiably hooked!
And so it continued, miles and miles, hour after hour… This person fell in with some notorious runners (initials S.M. and M.-E. L.*). The three of them liked to run for hours, bushwhacking through alder thickets on epic cross-country treks. Word has it that they even planned a South American running adventure but flight and travel snafus conspired to ensure that all they had to show for it was a trip to Miami and back. At any rate, this is rather fitting since this person originally hails from southern Florida. [That’s a clue, folks…]
From a running standpoint, this person has been involved in Running Club North since its inception in 1993, quietly working behind the scenes as RCN Calendar Liaison and editor of the Running Briefs newsletter. This person worked with Dave Cowee to develop the first RCN website in 1996. More recent projects include serving on the RCN board as Vice President and President, and working tirelessly on Equinox Marathon course access issues. This person runs in all the races–completing the entire trail series this year and taking 1st place in the 45-and-over category.
And without further ado, I am pleased to bestow the 2014 Spirit of the Equinox award on Bob Vitale!
* S.M. = Sandy Murray; M.-E. L. = Mary Ellen LeBerge.